Pick a Side– or Don’t Run at All

by

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


We have all witnessed one of the most historic midterm elections in United States history. Although the final numbers won’t be available for some time, the New York Times estimates that the turnout could very well reach 114 million votes. That number is astonishing, and every American should be proud of this turnout.

Throughout Tuesday night, updates poured into numerous live streams and new outlets. At 10:17 PM, ABC News projected that Republicans would maintain control of the Senate; shortly thereafter they projected that the Democrats would flip the House and gain control. A split-control of Congress with a Republican President caused the Dow-Jones to surge by 500 points, easing some investors as the current economic policy should expect a gridlock.

The polarization of this election has been haunting Americans since at least the 2016 election. 3 Senate races have fallen within 2% of each other (Florida, Arizona, and Montana), and 10 House races that have came within 3% of each other. Americans are more divided than ever, whether that be issues on healthcare, immigration, the economy, etc.

Running as a moderate Democrat in a red-state or vice-versa, would conventionally be a popular option because it provides for a middle ground. This election, unless your name is Joe Manchin, the moderate candidates, specifically in the Senate, didn’t stand a chance against their more partisan-positioned counterparts. Democratic senators such as Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in red-states, who typically run on a moderate-conservative platform failed to get re-elected.

These red-state Democrats have taken numerous conservative approaches to appeal to the state’s base, such as being pro-life, pro-business, and advocating for deregulation of many businesses. All these candidates claim they are the backbone for any hope of a bipartisan future. Take this ad from Joe Donnelly where he is cutting wood with an ax, claiming that he splits with his own party when it doesn’t benefit Hoosiers.

I’m from Indiana, so when people around the state saw that Joe Donnelly was pulling the moderate-Democrat stunt, they knew it wasn’t going to work. Throughout his whole campaign this cycle, he has raved about how conservative he was compared to others in his party and that he would do whatever is best for Hoosiers. He made one mistake though: he voted NO on Judge Brett Kavanaugh, which ultimately led the people of Indiana to pull for Republican Mike Braun.

Running as a moderate would usually be the ideal situation, however, since this country is so polarized and tribal, it’s hard to find the right niche to attract voters. It’s those like Joe Donnelly, who claim they vote for what their constituents back at home want, but then turn around and do what their party leaders want when it truly matters.

These days of partisanship and tribalism should not be the ultimatum. In fact, these moderates should indeed be the backbone of our bipartisanship. Moderates bring America together; they see both sides and they work hard for every constituent they represent.

Whether it’s Steve King or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, America has become more divided than ever. Hopefully Moderates like Joe Manchin can restore the bipartisanship this country so desperately needs.

Landon Muzzillo is a Public Affairs major at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Landon loves politics and was a State Delegate in June 2018. His career aspirations include becoming a lobbyist and working on The Hill. In his free time, he also enjoys hanging out with friends and watching basketball.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Landon Muzzillo

Indiana University

Landon Muzzillo is a Public Affairs major at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Landon loves politics and was a State Delegate in June 2018. His career aspirations include becoming a lobbyist and working on The Hill. In his free time, he also enjoys hanging out with friends and watching basketball.

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